Mehriban Aliyeva: main goal is to make new services people-oriented

Mehriban Aliyeva: main goal is to make new services people-oriented

The main target is to make sure that the new services would be people-oriented and would address previous difficulties that our citizens were facing in the past, as well as render our public services to people friendly, comfortable, easy to use and efficient, First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva said at the opening ceremony of the UN Public Service Forum, which has kicked off at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, co-organized by the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Nations.

"It is an honor for us to host the UN Public Service Forum which for the first time is organized in the region of Eastern Europe, and we thank the United Nations for the decision to organize this event in our capital. We consider this as the recognition of important achievements gained by Azerbaijan in the fields of public services. The topic chosen for this year’s event is of great importance to all of our nations and this is a useful platform for senior decision-makers coming from different parts of the world to share their experiences, challenges, to meet the goals of the UN 2030 agenda of sustainable development. Special role in this process belong to the ability of our public institutions to deliver high quality services to our people, and to engage innovative transformation. In this context, I would like to use this opportunity to share with you today the success story of our experience to reform the old and inefficient system of public services," she said.

The First Vice-President of Azerbaijan noted that the main target was to make sure that the new services would be people-oriented and would address previous difficulties that our citizens were facing in the past. "The goal was to render our public services to people friendly, comfortable, easy to use and efficient. This is how the idea of creating a one-stop-shop public service provider was born. It got the name of ASAN – meaning easy in Azerbaijani," Mehriban Aliyeva explained.

"ASAN service was established by the initiative of the president of Azerbaijan, in 2012, as part of the broader public administration reform, and was immediately welcomed by the people. It started from a small pilot project in Baku. When several main public service providers were gathered at the one roof in order to respond to needs of people in a transparent, accessible, efficient and comfortable way. ASAN became immediately so popular, among people that we decided to build on this success, by increasing the number and types of services and extending ASAN presence to the regions of Azerbaijan," she added.

Pointing out that ASAN service has become a national brand in a relatively short period of time, that introduced a new culture of dealing with the peoples’ needs in the field of public services, Mehriban Aliyeva said that there are ten ASAN centers in the regions, and five centers in Baku and they plan to build five more centers in the regions and two more in Baku, before the end of this year. 

"In terms of volume of work that was done, I would like to give you just one figure. Since 2013, ASAN centers have processed more than 13 million applications across the country. Today this centers render 320 public and private services. 12 different state structures and the group of private companies, are represented within ASAN-center in one building. Very quickly ASAN services have taken the central place in state-citizen relationship," the First Vice-President of Azerbaijan stated.

"Permanent monitoring of the citizen feedback strongly contributes to the long-term success of the project. Another recipe of success, was active and wide involvement of our youth," she assured.

It was noted that since 2013, more than 19 thousand volunteers have been involved in ASAN, 1100 of whom have got full-fledged jobs in ASAN of various ministries involved in ASAN service centers. 

"We are proud to see how our talented, highly motivated and creative youth is deeply engaged in the country’s modernization. Our positive experience was also noticed by the international community and back in 2015, ASAN-service was awarded by the UN in the category of improving the delivery of public services. We are proud that our experience with ASAN is watched with great interest as a best practice in a much broader region," Mehriban Aliyeva stressed.

She also said that this year, first similar center was opened in Kabul and more than 100 experts from Afghanistan have been trained by ASAN. "We are ready to continue sharing our best practices with other countries. As of today, ten Memorandums of Understanding were signed by ASAN with different countries and international organizations. But we do not stop there and continue to improve the quality of public services. In order to render proactive e-services to people ASAN launched portal. And now our citizens also benefit from online services. Even that is not the limit. In 2016, building on the success story of ASAN another social-oriented service was set up in Azerbaijan under the name of ABAD. ABAD is a public legal entity whose goal is to assist small family businesses and develop small entrepreneurship in the regions of Azerbaijan. The aim is also to involve more actively and creatively the citizens to social economic development of the country. With about 400 current members ABAD has become an important tool to address the issue of unemployment in the regions," the first lady said.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this was just a brief outline of Azerbaijani experience in reforming public services to benefit of our citizens. I am sure there are many other examples, and experiences that could be shared and studied on a regular basis. This is the reason why Azerbaijan proposed to establish as a particular result of today’s forum the ASAN association of public service delivery entities. I hope that this new association will become an important international tool to promote export dialogue on effective public service delivery. It may assist all those who are willing to use existing best practices in this field," Mehriban Aliyeva pointed out.

"Dear friends, once again, welcome to Azerbaijan, I wish you all interesting and useful discussion. I wish the forum a great success. Finally ,I invite you to find some spare time during your stay in Baku to discover our beautiful city and enjoy traditional Azerbaijani hospitality. Thank you," the First Vice-President of Azerbaijan conclude